Deepanjali Nayak is involved in working to save lakes and the general ecosystem of Sarjapura as part of a campaign called ‘Save Lakes of Sarjapura’. She also works with a citizen forum called ‘Voice of Sarjapura’. “I came to Sarjapura in 2011 and it was like a break from all the noise of the city. I thought that this place would forever be as it was, it didn’t hit me that rapid urbanisation can ruin everything.”
Deepanjali admits that the first thoughts that came to her mind when she saw this place was that there should be no waste produced and that the water must be used carefully because the place was pristine. “This is when I started living consciously and explored the institutions which were talking about sustainability, healthy or organic lifestyle, etc. The team made an effort to make the villagers and other people living nearby aware of the value of these resources so that they could also save these lakes by stopping the dumping of waste into them. “The campaign was an emotional outpouring translated into action and many of the volunteers were women.” Sarjapura is fully dependent on its lakes. This area is rural and the climatic conditions are arid with the chances of drought being high because there is hardly any rain. “This place is full of farms because 30 or 40 years back, all the forests were cut down to create farmlands.”
The team’s next aim was to closely work with the ‘Bharath Kisan Sangha’. The members are working with the farmers of Anekal and they have joined hands with them to save the lakes. Forests and lakes are getting encroached upon by their own people because of the reconstruction of the society – the villagers’ interests are changing and they are going to the cities and working.
Currently, Sarjapura is heavily dependent on bore-well water because it is supported by the Cauvery water supply. Bore-wells are dug up to 1,500 ft., and according to Deepanjali, in the next few years, Sarjapura may have no water at all. Most of the lakes here have dried up because they have not been kept up and the rainfall has been low. “According to the study conducted, Sarjapura can turn into a desert in next three to four years.” The campaign wants the citizens to know about the urgency of the situation and also wants the government officials to take action. “The farmers are extremely worried because they are directly related to the water and they are totally connected to the land.”
As a citizen forum, the team also wants to build a bridge between businesspersons and IT professionals, and the farmers.
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